Windows – Safe sharing home network, single user Microsoft account without Homegroup

network-shareswindows 10

I have a home office with a workstation, and I just added another workstation and a laptop. All use windows10 professional and I use the same Microsoft account to login on all machines. I'm trying to set up a shared folder on each machine to replace the Homegroup.

Network Error

Windows cannot access \\ws1\shared

You do not have permission to access \\ws1\shared. 
Contact your network administrator to request access.

I can't get the sharing to work no matter what I allow on the share permissions or on the folder security.

Windows10 just removed homegroup, a feature I was just beginning to get some use out of.

I've set up a domain in the past, in an office setting. But I'd like to keep this simple and avoid using a domain controller.

I also want to avoid sharing on the "public network" as the laptop might be taken to other locations and other devices exist in my home.

Edit:

Just found out that sharing any folder outside of the user folder is working. No adjusting of permissions seems to work though for in the user folder